Avid jetsetters should download TripIt on the Google Play store right away, but don’t splurge for the $3.99 “No Ad” version. Instead, spend the extra money on the $49/year TripIt Pro service. Once registered, TripIt will monitor your e-mail inbox for travel-related confirmations, seat changes, etc., and will update your Android app immediately. It’s completely effortless. Delays and gate changes will alert you automatically, and you’ll also get complimentary 1-year memberships to Hertz #1 Club Gold and Regus Gold.
The Pro service also makes it easy to track all of your frequent traveler points, and you’ll be immediately notified if your airfare is eligible for a refund due to a price drop. For those who need to share upcoming trip details with kids, friends, or family, the app enables easy (and private) sharing to the parties you specify, so they too will know exactly where you are after you depart.
Google Goggles is a free app that lets you take a photo of something – be it a sign in a foreign language, a landmark, a famous painting, a barcode on a product, or even one of those funky QR codes – and then be informed of what you’ve photographed without any legwork on your part. This is particularly great for traveling to areas that you aren’t familiar with, and for secretly showing off your “in-depth travel knowledge” to your family.
Goggles can read text in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish, and translate it into other languages. For business travelers, you can use Goggles to scan in business cards and have the information added to your Contacts list. And, if you’re in the giving mood, you can take photos of landmarks that Goggles has yet to learn about and submit information to Google so that others will see your handiwork when they pass by in the future.
My Tracks is a free app, built by Google, that allows you to track your exercise routes, hiking excursions, or Sunday drives. It uses the GPS in your phone to follow the path that you take, journaling statistics like elevation change and average speed as you go. Once your trip is done, you can easily save and share your jaunts through Google+, Facebook, or Twitter, making it simple to make memories of where you (and your Android phone) have been together. Moreover, the app integrates with a few third-party biometric sensors, if you’re into that kind of thing.
Have an iPhone or Windows Phone device? Hang tight! This is an ongoing series, and we’ll be covering other platforms soon!